[REVIEW] Manchester Play Expo 2015 – Saturday 10th October

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Last weekend was Play Expo, an event hosted by Replay Events
"Replay Events Ltd is a unique UK-based company specialising in the organisation of video gaming events and the supply of games consoles, computers and related equipment.
The Replay Events team are responsible for staging some of the UK’s biggest video gaming shows"
For this convention, I only went for the Saturday as event tickets were £16 and I ended up spending another £16 on train tickets!
I ended up reusing a cosplay that I made last year - Female Trainer from Pokemon Fire Red / Leaf Green
I made this outfit as part of a Halloween meet up event and it felt like a good match for a gaming convention.
Photography - Captain Matt Gamer
The ratio of cosplayers to non cosplayers was roughly 300:1 there wasn't a lot of cosplayers at the hall, and most of them came dressed as game characters.
The venue was massive and dimly lit which seemed to be suited well for a gathering of tech lovers and gamers but I think it caused my photos to appear darker T_T
The convention hall felt a lot bigger as there were separate sections for
  • Arcade Machines
  •  Trading halls
  • Gaming Tournaments
  • PS4 Areas
  • Gamer Disco
  • Cosplay Area
  • Educational Area
  • And many more!!
There were lots of games available from a range of different consoles, some that I didn't even know existed! I had a brief encounter with this nifty games console!
A Philips CD-i controller, it looks like a mix between a tv remote and a predecessor for the Wii...
playing on this thing, was pretty difficult and with most of the older games, I learned that it's important to pick up on how to play quickly otherwise it's pretty appealing to move onto something else when you're spoiled for choice and strapped for time.
A game from my childhood - Super Mario Sunshine!
This game was probably the only old-school console game that I managed to play and progress with, I had fun finding favourites that I already know about and enjoyed to see some Gamecube appreciation as the console does have some good titles to its name.
Brought to Play Expo by Pinball Heaven
There were a few rows of Arcade games for everybody to try out!
Lots of retro machines that have been modified to let us play top hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s.
After watching "Game Over", which I previously wrote about here, I was interested to see if any popular titles such as would have appeared but there was plenty of Star Wars' arcade games to keep everybody happy.
Also, you didn't need to insert any coins for these games.

BlazBlue: Chronophantasma Extend
brought to Play Expo by PQube
I previously saw a figure for Noel's character at a local Forbidden Planet shop and so this quipped my interest for Blazblue.
For those unaware, Blazblue is a fighting arcade game. I had fun playing a few matches, each match has 3 rounds in total. There's also a story mode which I thought was a great addition but I didn't get to see much of this because people want to enjoy quick gameplay and move on T_T
There was a tournament of this game being held as well at the event!
Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair
also brought to Play Expo by PQube
This game is one where you go around killing big massive insects! Can you see that massive ant's body in the second player screen? Yep, that's the main purpose of the game, don't knock it back based on this as it can become addict able and even more so with various levels of difficulty the game gets more interesting.
Personally, I think this game is much better played with friends.

Dark Souls 3 
by Bandai Namco
The PS4 area had another section involving a queue to play Dark Souls 3.
The queue was roughly medium sized, however, queuing at a convention seemed to turn some people away from the idea of queuing. In total, I waited in this queue for roughly 40 minutes, but the staff were happy to chat and everybody had lots of conversation which made up for the time spent waiting.
There were roughly groups of 20 people each playing the demo for near enough 15 minutes - with all of these games around me, who has time to be checking their watch every 5 minutes? Not me!
This also meant that while you were queuing, you could see other people playing the game which was cool, some players managed to get to the first boss battle! The graphics were a definite improvement from Dark Souls 2 as well.
The pre-order bonus was a Dark Souls 3 T-shirt and the game is to be released in early 2016, such excite.

Pretty much every convention holds trading stalls, and Play Expo is no exception!
Tavington Crafts
Toby Toymaster
Kallisti jewelleryWere just a few of the traders there!
Some traders had pretty cool stuff on sale as there were many vintage games for sale which were available on different consoles, such as N64, Dreamcast, PS2 and GBA.
Some of these games were straight Japanese imports too!
I noticed lots of boxed pokemon games in mint condition that I made me regret throwing out my old GBA game boxes T_T
I noticed a few anime cosplayers at the event which didn't feel too out of place as some stalls catered to anime fans, roughly 2 stalls dealt with figurines and another 2 stalls specialised in plushies and pillows.
A small area was dedicated card games such as Weiss Schwarz, Pokemon, Yu Gi Oh and lots of Bushiroad products - e.g. Milky Holmes
I also managed to get my hands on my first Yu Gi Oh card - Traptrix Dionaea!
I could only this find one traptrix archetype and with prices at £1 I could just buy more on eBay but it feels extra fun to browse through the folders at conventions!
I managed to snag the game prize Sailor Moon and Fate Stay Night UBW Rin! I've been hunting down this Rin figurine for a while and managed to get these two together for £40.
I also did a previous review of Fate/Kaleid Liner's Prisma Illya 
Sometimes buying at conventions can end up costing the same as online ^^;
There was manga on sale at some trading stalls, but no sign of any anime DVD's anywhere - besides HMV at the Trafford Centre which is located opposite the EventCity venue.
I'll do reviews of the figurines and DVDs in a future post - so stay tuned!
Thank you for reading!
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